By Wole Adedeji, Ilorin
The Federal High Court, sitting in Ilorin, Kwara State, has adjourned for judgement in a suit filed against the Police, and two others by an Islamic sect in Lafiagi over an alleged extra-judicial closure of a mosque.
The court’s presiding judge; Honourable Justice Mohammed Sanni, after hearing the submissions of counsel on both sides, said that the court was adjourning to give judgement, adding that the judgment date would be communicated to both counsel by the court.
There had been a concentric chain of bloody clashes between the Jama’atu Ahlu Sunnah Salafi-yat Islamic group and the Tijanitah Movement, both in Lafiagi, in Edu Local Government Area of Kwara State, where the latter was alleged to be the agrressor since 2005, and accused of inflicting bodily harms on the former on each occasion.
The applicant/plaintiff sect in the suit alleged that the matter got to the climax on the 11th and 12th November, 2022, when the rival sect allegedly, under the directives of its leaders, trespassed into their Masjid Mosque by 7 p.m during a congregational service and attacked worshippers, causing grievous harms on them without provocations.
The plaintiff added that the wounded were later rushed to the hospital for treatment.
However, members of the Jama’atu Ahlu Sunnah Sakafi-yat mosque were said to be more aggrieved with the alleged manner the Lafiagi Divisional Police Officer handled the matter, by moving on to put their mosque under lock and key since 12th November, 2022, without any judicial process to do so, according to their lawyer, Barrister Adeleye T. Smith.
Barrister Smith had at the hearing told the court that his clients, as a mark of respect to Justice Sanni’s admonition to the parties to try an amicable resolution of the matter, gathered at an agreed location in Lafiagi for a peaceful meeting, only to be atracked again by members of the rival sect.
After two adjournments, where the lawyers submitted written address by Barrister Smith and counter address by the police lawyer; Barrister A.A Aladejare, the presiding judge, after adopting the addresses, adjourned the case to a date not yet announced, but to communicate to the counsel later, the date eventually fixed for judgement.
Recall also that the Inspector General of Police, IGP, the Kwara State Commissioner of Police and the Lafiagi Divisional Police Officer, DPO, along with the two leaders of Tijaniyah Movement; Musa Ndagi and Gimba Alhassan, were dragged to the Federal High Court for alleged assault, damages and trespass-related offences and extra judicial application by the police on the matter. The applicants were demanding for a N50 million damages, among other reliefs.